It's time to put the bright Microsoft Tech Community spotlight on our next Most Valuable Professional (MVP). Please join me in saying hello to our July Spotlight - @Anthony Caragol!
Anthony is one of the 100 men and women contributing to the Skype for Business Community through blog posts, sharing tidbits through social channels, participating in user groups, providing valuable product feedback, and getting out there to speak about this awesome product. The MVPs are a big part of our communty because they have close relationships to the Skype for Business engineering team & are able to share knowledge and best practices with all of us. If you are interested in learning more about the MVP Program at Microsoft - head on over to mvp.microsoft.com for some goodness.
If you tend to visit the IT Pro boards within the Skype for Business Community, you've most definitely seen Anthony's name. He's shared best practices and answered many questions - likely yours. He hails from Chicago, Illinios - home of the Cubs. Though I didn't ask him, I'm sure he'd say he's a fan. Anthony searched for a happy picture and I think he nailed it. Hello Anthony - thanks for all you do! All - Here's Anthony Caragol.
Laurie: Tell us about the most interesting place you've ever visited
Anthony: I've been all over the world, but my wife is of Indian descent from South Africa and our family still lives there. Visiting there on multiple occasions has been be the most interesting for me. The mix of different cultures, history, wildlife, landscapes, and food make it a top destination
Laurie: What do you do for fun when you aren't talking Skype for Business?
Anthony: For fun, when I'm not talking about Skype for Business of course, I like to spend time with my family, maintain my coral reef tanks, and experiment with other new and fun technologies. Right now I'm having a blast playing with the bot framework and the Microsoft AI services that work with it, it's amazing how powerful that is.
Laurie: What is your favorite Skype for Business feature and why?
Anthony: It sounds a bit dull when compared to the power of conferencing, telephony, APIs, and even AI integration through bots, but my favorite feature is simply presence. Often overlooked, the efficiencies gained in the modern workplace by instantly knowing how available someone is are immense. If someone is away and it's urgent, I instantly know to call their mobile phone, if it's not instant I know to send an email, if they're available I can send a quick IM. So much time is saved by using the right way to communicate the first time, yet it's so easy it's always taken for granted.
Laurie: What is the biggest technical challenge you have overcome?
Anthony: Many projects have some huge challenge, but that's what makes it fun. Skype for Business touches so many different aspects of technology and infrastructure. Whether it connecting to an ancient phone system that requires you to flip dip-switches or send specialized codes, writing a Skype integrated custom application to solve an interesting business challenge, or playing detective to ensure amazing quality in a complex environment, it's never boring.
Laurie: How has the MVP Program contributed to the success of your career?
Anthony: Being an MVP brings me close to the teams at Microsoft that make the decisions. Knowing where the product is heading, getting to voice my opinion on it, and getting a deeper understanding of the design is unmeasurable in helping me perform at a higher level.
Laurie: How does the Microsoft Technical Community help you in your role?
Anthony: The Microsoft Technical Community is huge for me and I'm the type of person who likes to share and help people. The community lets me do that easily and in turn get the advice or fixes to some of the challenges I face. Even simple discussions are helpful, knowing what others are seeing and thinking outside of my own perspective.
Laurie: Who is another MVP who you respect and why?
Anthony: @Josh Blalockis someone I admire greatly, he has an honest passion for the same technologies that I have and a commitment to the community with his regular videos on what's happening in the world of Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. The energy he puts into keeping up to date and helping others like me stay informed is nothing short of inspiring.
Thank you Anthony for sharing a little about yourself. Sometimes an online community can feel like you are talking to strangers - another step in making us all real! @Josh Blalock - We're coming for you next month!